Architecture Governance in Enterprise Architecture is the process of aligning business structure with that of business strategies. It requires firm leadership and comprehensive knowledge of one’s business organization to effectively manage the fundamental aspects of a business.
According to Valueblue.com, the purpose of Enterprise Architecture governance is to appropriately balance and align the architectural needs of an enterprise and make policies, procedures, and processes to synchronize an organization’s vision with that of an organization’s requirements.
Without Enterprise Architecture Governance, a business might find itself stuck and falling in an endless web of aberrant technology and bad business development, it will also encourage silos in businesses. Such habits and instances will impact the operations and finances of a business and will create problematic situations in organizations that will become increasingly difficult to repair as time goes on.
Enterprise Architecture as a term is hard to define since it has changed its meaning throughout its history and it is difficult for anyone to pin it down in such and such a manner. Nevertheless, we can divide the term into its essential components, enterprise, and architecture. Enterprise is a word that describes any relatively large organization (company, charity, and government agency) that comprises collaboration of various other sub-organization under it with a shared set of goals. Architecture is anything that has a complex and carefully designed structure and system, everything in this world has architecture from buildings to living bodies.
It is the description of the components and processes of a system. If we combine both the components together, we can understand that it is the description of various components and processes of an enterprise that has various interconnected departments. Therefore, Enterprise Architecture describes the structure and behavior of an enterprise, which also includes its information systems. It becomes a medium through which enterprises can plan and transform their businesses and govern changes that can improve the integrity and flexibility of the enterprise.
Enterprise architecture contains three aspects; content framework, processes framework, and organizational framework. The structure (or the metamodel) of the architecture falls under the content framework. Process framework concerns the activities to be carried out and organization framework involves people and roles of an enterprise.
Larger corporations are becoming complex and we need to find ways to reduce such complexity. There is a need to distribute these complex structures into smaller chunks so that corporations can manage them effectively. One way of doing it is by segmenting the organization, if an enterprise has many subsidiary departments or different agencies in the case of government, then dividing them into such segments would lead to the reduction of complexity. The second way of reducing complexity is by looking at the various domains of an enterprise, there are typically four domains of an enterprise; business architecture, data architecture, applications, and infrastructure.
The business domain of enterprise looks at its objectives, goals, strategies, capabilities, processes, functions, and organizational structure. It shows the reason behind an organization’s existence. The second domain is data or information architecture, the business domain has its view of data, and the data domain is connected to the application domain. They work as two halves making one. The application domain focuses on the IT applications of the business, they help maintain and manipulate the data on behalf of the business and work both internally and externally for both businesses and customers. The fourth domain is the infrastructure or technical domain, it is the system software upon which the data and application domain are dependent. It is also the nuts and bolts and wires of a business.
The overlapping of these domains represents that each of these domains is dependent on each other and creates a hierarchical structure that moves upwards from infrastructure to application to data to business to the outside world. There are other domains such as security, compliances, etc.
Enterprise architecture is about overseeing changes through defining principles and standards, the activities of architecture include creating descriptions, gap analysis, and plan migration strategies to implement the smooth transformation of the business. All of these activities are going to achieve what the organization needs and that is governing change activities.
The intention behind Enterprise Architecture is to eliminate silos and increase integration and interoperability. It also functions governance and supervising the many tools that enable change in the business.
Benefits of Enterprise Architecture
Overview of Strategies
Enterprise Architecture bridges the gap between IT and the business. It does not only concern itself with IT anymore, it offers a holistic overview of your entire enterprise processes and technological parameters. It lets you observe your entire infrastructure in its entirety. It displays all the information regarding every department in the enterprise and shows the points of interdependencies, they act as blueprints that guide businesses in delivering effective transitioning in the face of a changing market landscape.
A point that has already been referred to earlier, as mentioned before, large corporations are growing into ever-increasing complexity which can make interoperability between sub-departments difficult. This also leads to many other issues for the long term, that is where Enterprise Architecture offers a solution. It helps enterprises manage and oversee their entire infrastructure with the help of IT. Consequently, it equips businesses with the flexibility that can help govern necessary change within the enterprise.
Enterprise architecture fosters robust standardization. It empowers business stakeholders to make better decisions because it allows interconnectedness among many departments under it. It also helps in managing employees and ensures that all of them are on the same page. It allows opportunities for maintaining optimal productivity and flexibility. It strengthens organizations from within.
Enterprises are more at the risk of cyber-attacks given the enormous amount of data they store. Enterprise Architecture provides cybersecurity and protection of your data. Data breaches are a common yet dangerous threat for businesses and EA provides data protection by regular updates and software patches.
Another benefit of Enterprise Architecture is cost-saving. It can enable your business to save expenses on various fronts. First of all, it lets you save maintenance, management, and operational expenditure. Secondly, it allocates resources effectively that allows shaving off unnecessary expenses. Thirdly, EA allows you to identify and eliminate duplicate and unnecessary processes. This and more of its streamlining capabilities elevate return of investment and overall profitability.